Learning about automatic movements and water resistance

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My latter day resurgence of watch ogling began with that chance (accidental!) purchase of a Rolex Submariner copy. Needless to say I couldn’t legitimately parade that around in good conscience so I put it down to learning. However, now beginning to research the famous timepiece I learned about it being James Bond’s watch of choice for several decades and had subsequently been replaced by a series of alternatives. Now, I am a male human being and that means that any opportunity to exhibit Bond-like qualities is to be maximised at all costs!
So I began a list of ‘must have one day’ watches and the quest begins to find them all. One of the first I looked into was the Omega Seamaster (OS) worn in Spectre and I may yet write an entry specifically about that one day but for now it led me to a world of many, many homages; mostly, very cheap lookalikes.

But lo, who’s this character looking something like the OS but daring to be different? It was a Seiko SKX007, apparently with ‘Dagaz’ modifications. I’d heard of Seiko. It turns out they make a fairly vast array of ‘diver style’ watches and this was one of them but which had undergone a facelift; the bezel & dial had been put together to resemble Bond’s most recent OS. In this case though, rather than a gaudy label made to look like Omega or extolling it’s own virtues, the Dagaz dial was virtually brandless without being totally sterile – it has a small diamond at the top and that is IT. It’s super classy, has a lovely weight and is beautifully finished. The jubilee strap is perfectly brushed & polished in the right places and the bezel is the thick ‘pound coin’ option that stands proud and really makes a statement. Overall, the watch sits well as a dress-watch but is also totally believable as a functioning diver’s watch given that it’s not overly sheikly (my Nanna’s word, you get the picture) and isn’t laced with diamonds.

It also boasts being ‘automatic’. Now, I had heard of automatic watches and understood that they didn’t require a battery but were in face powered by your body movement. Witchcraft!!! And I’d assumed that this was a quality reserved for £1k+ type watches. Well, it turns out that you can get automatic watches for a very decent price indeed and this was no exception. Seiko use predominantly Miyota movements, a Japanese company with a superb reputation and which will store around 48 hours worth of energy, meaning that you can leave your watch at home for 2 days and it will keep perfect time. Automatic also means you get a ‘sweeping’ second hand rather than a defined tick tick tick on each second. The visual result is an almost smooth rotation that looks really classy.

Finally, this watch says it’s water resistant to 200 metres…really? Well, yes, really, it turned out to be absolutely true, even my 7 year old self couldn’t kill this one!!

That is – along with the automatic movement and other quality components – what concreted it’s place as a ‘mid-range’ watch. It cost me a few hundred and with better marketing it would have sold for a few hundred more. It looks fantastic, it’s automatic, hard-wearing and you can take it out on your boat or under the waves to fight off evil henchmen. I’ll eventually find higher-end alternatives but I’ll never ‘beat’ this one, it’s an absolute cracker.